Do I have to live with tooth sensitivity?

Sensitive teeth can have significant consequences for your quality of life, but the good news is that you don’t have to suffer through tooth sensitivity. There are some steps that you can take to overcome this dental problem.

In general, tooth sensitivity develops when the outer enamel erodes and the underlying dentin is exposed. Dentin has microscopic tubules that provide a direct link to the tooth’s inner nerve center, and when those nerves are stimulated, discomfort can result.

Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is gum recession. In this case, the sensitive tooth roots are exposed to the oral cavity, which can also cause discomfort. Excessive or frequent tooth whitening and aggressive brushing techniques may also be at fault for tooth sensitivity.

Upon examination and a patient interview, your dentist can determine what specific factors are at play in your case and recommend an appropriate treatment.

Some treatments for tooth sensitivity are home-based while others may be provided in the dental office.
For example, cases of milder enamel erosion can be treated with a sealant that is painted on to teeth in the dental office. Your dental team may also recommend prescription-strength toothpastes or mouth washes to coat the dentin. Similarly, the hygienist can use a specialty polishing paste to achieve this same goal.

More severe enamel erosion may require restorations, such as dental bonding, to address the resulting sensitivity. If significant gum recession is involved in tooth sensitivity, the patient may need to undergo gum surgery to correct that issue.

Patients can continue to try to resolve the problem at home, as well, by using over-the-counter toothpastes specially formulated for sensitive teeth.

When lifestyle habits contribute to tooth sensitivity, patients may need to make changes to their normal routines. For example, if excessive consumption of acidic foods or drinks has caused tooth pain, the patient may need to make some dietary changes. Patients who are a little too vigorous about their brushing along the gum line will need to use better technique.

If tooth sensitivity has kept you from enjoying some of your favorite foods or affected your oral hygiene routine, consult with our skilled team at Dental Depot to learn what can be done to alleviate your symptoms.

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